Crossing Over to the Other Side

By Beth Fore

“One thing I ask of
the LORD, this is what
I seek:  that I may
dwell in the house of the
LORD all the days of my
life, to gaze upon the
beauty of the LORD
and to seek him in
his temple.”

(Psalm 27:4 NIV)

Crossing Over to the Other Side

Holy Father, as I rest here quietly
in sweet repose upon my bed.
My mind wrestles with consciousness,
and my thoughts go where they are led.

I can vaguely hear distant voices
of loved ones attending to me.
I feel the warmth of their gentle presence
as they touch my body lovingly.

Sometimes I see the smiling faces
of loved ones who are now a memory.
Sometimes I hear joy and laughter,
precious moments with friends and family.

And then I see the kind face of Jesus,
shining brightly aglow with light.
He speaks softly with a smile on His lips,
“Child, you are precious in my sight.”

I feel the essence of life slip away
as I breathe my last breath of air.
I see Jesus extending His hand to me,
as He answers my last earthly prayer.

by Beth Fore

*One of the greatest motivations for Christians choosing to accept Jesus as their Savior and to live a life of love and obedience to Him, is that they know they will one day be in heaven with Him and will be able to worship, praise, and adore Him all the time.

“One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek:  that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to see him in his temple.”  (Psalm 27:4 NIV)

Every person has a unique journey with God, and we can’t know for sure what a person experiences in the last few months, weeks, days, or minutes of his life.  I have been present with my parents and my sister when they were dying, and I’ve witnessed some very interesting things.  Sometimes you see people squirming and getting agitated in their sleep, as though they are hashing out some things about their lives with God.  Sometimes, you see a person smiling and calling out to loved ones who have already died.  It is as though the person sees their loved ones in heaven and they look forward to going to heaven to be with them.

I think that there are times in the weeks and days before a person’s death when they are in an altered reality, or a semi-conscience state.  They know what’s going on here on earth, but they also seem to know what is going on in the world beyond the grave.  It seems as though God is preparing them for what is yet to come.

Unfortunately, many people are in great pain before they die.  They are usually given much stronger doses of pain medicine to relieve them.  They may have hallucinations about their death and their destination after death.  This may be very pleasant or very unpleasant depending on their destination.  Sometimes people who are dying talk about what they see in these dreams , or hallucinations, and it can be very frightening if they are seeing hell rather than heaven.

The Christian’s greatest desire is to see God in all His power and holiness and to stand before Him in heaven and gaze upon His face as he worships and praises Him.  The Christian looks forward to the beauty and perfection of heaven and the fact that there will be no sickness, sadness, or sorrow in heaven.  The Christian waits to hear the voice of Jesus and knows that his Savior will take him by the hand and lead him to his new home in heaven!

Applications

  1. Even though the Bible teaches us that there is a heaven and a hell, many choose not to believe in either of them, or, at least, not hell.  Why do you think this is so?
  2. How do you picture God in all of his beauty?
  3. Have you, or anyone you know, experienced some things that seemed supernatural, or very revealing, at the time of a loved one’s death?  Share them.
  4. What do you fear about death?
  5. What do you think a Christian’s attitude toward death should be?

If you have questions about how to follow Jesus or deepen your relationship with Him, email us at NLBIministry@gmail.com.

Here’s an article about becoming a Christian. https://woww.newlifebehavior.org/what-it-means-to-follow-jesus-how-to-become-a-christian/

Beyond My Understanding

By Beth Fore

“Oh, how I wish that God
would speak, that he would
open his lips against you and
disclose to you the secrets of
wisdom, for true wisdom has
two sides.  Know this:  God has
even forgotten some of your sin.
“Can you fathom the mysteries of
God?  Can you probe the limits of
the Almighty?  They are higher than
the heavens—what can you
do?  They are deeper than the depths
of the grave—what can you know?  Their
measure is longer than the earth
and wider than the sea.”

(Job 11:5-9 NIV)

Beyond My Understanding

I have so many questions, Father,
so many things I don’t understand;
but I believe You are the Sovereign One,
and everything is under Your command.

There are many secrets and mysteries
about the heavenly realms and our universe.
There are so many unresolved questions
since the fall of man and Adam’s curse.

My thoughts can’t compare with Yours, God,
as I search for answers that I cannot find.
Though You created me in Your image, God,
You created in me a limited, finite mind.

I’ve spent a lifetime of seeking, Father . . .
meaning and purpose in this life for me.
I’ve asked for wisdom and discernment,
for ears that can hear and eyes that can see.

Help me accept what I don’t understand,
to trust and submit to Your will for me.
Increase my faith beyond measure, God,
and help me embrace my divine destiny.

by Beth Fore

*Mankind cannot understand many of the mysteries about Almighty God.  God has no limits; and even though man desires to know and understand all there is to know about God, he will never be able to fully comprehend the majesty and mystery of God.

“Can you fathom the mysteries of God?  Can you probe the limits of the Almighty?” (Job 11:7 NIV)

As human beings, we long to understand our Creator; yet, we can never really comprehend All that He is, All that He can do, and All that He has put into place for His honor, glory, and praise. These mysteries about God demonstrate the gap between Creator and created, God and man.  God is so superior and perfect and Omni-everything, so mankind is humbled in His presence when he recognizes and acknowledges the Supreme Being who has created everything and is sovereign over all things.

We have so many unanswered questions about so many things, and there are many unsolved mysteries about the spiritual realm that we cannot see or hear.  The Bible tells us to pray for wisdom and we will receive it. We also gain more insight and understanding by studying God’s Word and seeking the Holy Spirit’s guidance and leadership into all truth. God does choose to unravel and demystify some of these mysteries when we truly seek Him through study, prayer, and worship.

Faith exists because of the gap between God and man. If mankind understood everything and had all knowledge, as God has, what would differentiate God from man?  Logic and debate won’t cause man to stand in awe of God and believe that He is the great I AM!  Man must realize that he cannot prove there is a God; but, rather, he chooses to believe in God, a Supreme Being, and a Sovereign who is the creator, sustainer, and ruler over every thing and every being.  When we choose to believe, trust, and obey God as the Supreme Being, we understand that we are human beings with finite minds and understanding and that we are humbled by the Authority and Omnipotence of Jehovah God.

Applications

  1. What are some of the questions you have yourself and others about God?
  2. Have you been able to answer some of those questions?  If so, what were they?
  3. What are some of the questions you ask that you doubt you will ever have answered in this life?  Is it important to you that you have them answered?
  4. Meditate on this question for a while.  Then write down your answer and find someone to share your question and answer.  Why, or why not, do you believe in God?
  5. Do you feel frustrated or blessed by the many unanswered questions and mysteries you have about God?

If you have questions about how to follow Jesus or deepen your relationship with Him, email us at NLBIministry@gmail.com.

Here’s an article about becoming a Christian. https://woww.newlifebehavior.org/what-it-means-to-follow-jesus-how-to-become-a-christian/

Awaken Within Me

By Beth Fore

“My heart is steadfast, O God,
my heart is steadfast; I will sing
and make music.  Awake, my soul!
Awake, harp and lyre!  I will
awaken the dawn.  I will praise
you, O Lord, among the nations;
I will sing of you among the peoples.
For great is your love, reaching
to the heavens; your faithfulness
reaches to the skies.  Be exalted,
O God, above the heavens; let
your glory be over all the earth.”

(Psalm 57:7-11 NIV)

Awaken Within Me

Awaken within me, Father,
Your spirit of mercy and grace.
Remind me of Your forgiveness
that frees me from sin’s disgrace.

Awaken within me, Father,
a heart filled with humility.
Rid me of my self and pride.
Make me who You want me to be.

Awaken within me, Father,
a love filled with passion.
Fill me with the desire for You
over any thing and any one.

Awaken within me, Father,
an attitude of thanksgiving.
You are the source of all goodness
and my purpose for living.

Awaken within me, Father,
a hope I cannot measure.
Bless me with Your abundant love
for that is my greatest treasure.

by Beth Fore

*Only God has the power to create us, renew us, and awaken our souls when they fall asleep.  When we call upon the Holy Spirit, He will awaken us and create a new heart and fervor within us to rekindle the fire of passion we have for God in our hearts.

“Awake, my soul!  Awake, harp and lyre!  I will awaken the dawn.  I will praise you, O Lord, among the nations;” (Psalm 57:7-9 NIV)

Just as the psalmist approached a new day by crying out to God to awaken him, so should we pray this prayer each morning.  We start our day by praising God and thanking him for a new day and new blessings, and we ask Him to awaken the day, the music, and our souls!  When we start our day like this, our focus is on God and His goodness; and we ask Him to guide us through the day to be the people He wants us to be!

We ask God to awaken His spirit of mercy and grace within us.  As human beings, we often forget that the sovereign Lord over everything has poured out His mercy and grace on us through the sacrifice of His son, Jesus, on the cross.  There is NO greater sacrifice and gift than the gift of Jesus Christ.  His death took on ALL of the sins of the world and offered grace, forgiveness, and pardon to every one who will accept it.  We must re-visit this idea over and over again because understanding God’s grace and forgiveness for us is necessary for us to show mercy, grace, and forgiveness to our fellow human beings.  We must ask God to help us be loving, merciful, and forgiving to every person we meet.

We should also ask God to awaken our hearts to the magnificence and omnipotence of Almighty God.  We must recognize God as the one and the only great I AM, and we are only a creation of God.  He made us, shapes us, has a purpose for our lives, and He desires that we give up our wills and obey His will in all things.  Then we will be humble because we recognize that we are nothing without God.

Let us also ask God to awaken the hope within our hearts.  Hope in a better tomorrow is what sustains and motivates all of us.  People who do not believe in Jesus Christ have no hope for a better tomorrow.  Their hope ends the day their body dies.  Christians have hope because God promises that we will live forever with Him when we trust and obey Him!

APPLICATIONS

  1. Are you passionate about Jesus and on fire for God?  If not, what do you need God to awaken in you?
  2. Do you begin the day by talking to God and thanking him for His goodness and asking for His guidance?  If not, you might try this for a week and see if it makes a difference in your life.
  3. Are you gracious and merciful and forgiving in your daily relationships?  If not, what are some things you can do to change?
  4. Do you seek God’s will for your life by asking Him to guide you and lead you where you want to go?  If not, try doing this and see what happens.

If you have questions about how to follow Jesus or deepen your relationship with Him, email us at NLBIministry@gmail.com.

Here’s an article about becoming a Christian. https://woww.newlifebehavior.org/what-it-means-to-follow-jesus-how-to-become-a-christian/

Behold My Savior and My King

By Beth Fore

“Praise be to the God
and Father of our
Lord Jesus Christ, who
has blessed us in the
heavenly realms with
every spiritual blessing
in Christ.”

(Ephesians 1:3 NIV)

Behold My Savior and King

I lift up my voice in adoration
and praise to You, God Almighty.
You are the giver of all good things,
and You open my eyes to see.

Whether this is the first day of life,
the last day, or some day in between,
You reveal Your mysterious wonders to me
so that unknown things can be seen.

You send the rain, the snow, and sleet;
You exhale and the mighty wind blows.
You rest Your eyes and the dark appears;
You wink and smile and the sunshine glows.

I behold Your wonders all day long
and praise Your name in the morning light.
I marvel at heaven’s planets and stars
as they shine brightly in the evening night.

I worship You joyfully in my heart,
and my lips praise You as I sing.
I bow down humbly and worship You
for You, Lord, are my Savior and King.

I offer You the gift of a grateful heart
and ask for Your presence with me today.
Lead me, guide me, and walk with me
as I seek to honor You and Your will obey.

by Beth Fore

*Christians are blessed beyond measure and understanding. We are truly blessed with the physical things in this life; but, more importantly, we are blessed with every spiritual blessing that God gives.

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.”  (Ephesians 1:3 NIV)

Our heavenly Father is the giver of all good things, especially every spiritual blessing.  I don’t even understand or comprehend all of the spiritual blessings, but I am still joyful and grateful to know that God makes these blessings and gives them to me.

God truly lavishes His love, His goodness, His gifts, and His blessings on His children.  Our response to God for these generous blessings should be thanksgiving, loving and obedient hearts, and the desire to share His goodness with every person we encounter.  When we have it this good, we should truly desire to share these great things with the people who do not now enjoy them.

We behold miracles in God’s creation all around us: the birth of a child, the beautiful voice of a gifted singer, the smell and taste of a freshly cooked apple pie, and the warm touch of a loving parent. God desires that we are thankful in all circumstances of life, and He can give us peace and joy and hope in the most difficult of circumstances.

God desires to hear our voice frequently during each day: singing praises to His holy name, offering up prayers of thanksgiving and gratitude for His goodness and His gifts, calling on the name of Jesus and the Holy Spirit when we need help and guidance, and just taking the time to share the little moments in life with Him because we have an intimate relationship with Him. Thank you, Lord, for loving and blessing us so much!

APPLICATIONS

  1. Spend some time thinking about the physical gifts God gives you, and write them down.  Pray a prayer of thanksgiving for these gifts.
  2. Think about the spiritual gifts God is giving you. Write them down and pray a   prayer of thanksgiving for them.
  3. What are some spiritual gifts you don’t feel like you have received? Ask God to help you receive these gifts and thank him for them.
  4. Why is it so important that we spend much time giving God our praise, worship, and gratitude for what he has done, and is doing, for us?
  5. Share these thoughts with another Christian and bless one another with your sharing.

If you have questions about how to follow Jesus or deepen your relationship with Him, email us at NLBIministry@gmail.com.

A Closer Walk with God

by Beth Fore

“Who is wise and understanding
among you? Let him show it
by his good life, by deeds done
in the humility that comes from
wisdom. But if you harbor bitter
envy and selfish ambition in your
hearts, do not boast about it or deny
the truth.  Such ‘wisdom’ does not
come down from heaven but is
earthly, unspiritual, of the devil. For
where you have envy and selfish
ambition, there you find disorder
and every evil practice.  But the
wisdom that comes from heaven
is first of all pure; then peace-
loving, considerate, submissive,
full of mercy and good fruit,
impartial and sincere.
Peacemakers who sow
in peace raise a harvest
of righteousness.”

(James 3:13-18 NIV)

A Closer Walk with God

Father, as I meditate on Your word today,
I understand that You alone know the path I will take.
I ask for Your wisdom, insight, and discernment
as I submit my will to Yours in the decisions I make.

Give me complete trust and faith in You, Father,
as You walk with me on this journey today.
Give me Your power, strength, and faithfulness
as Your Holy Spirit guides me to follow Your Way.

Help me to live this life as an exciting adventure
looking forward to the delights and sorrows that lie ahead.
Help me to live life fearlessly and expectantly
as I submit wholly to You and follow where I am led.

Keep my eyes and mind focused on You, Father,
so that Satan’s deceitful lies don’t lead me astray.
Transform me into the likeness of Your son, Jesus,
so that in every thought and deed I will seek to obey.

Use me as Your vessel to bring honor and glory to You,
so that others will know You and offer You praise.
Shower me with Your spiritual blessings, Father,
and walk closely beside me for all of my days.

by  Beth Fore

*Wise people ask God for His wisdom and understanding so that they can know what God desires for their lives, and they seek to do His will rather than Satan’s will or their own.

“But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.  Peace lovers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.”  (James 3:18 NIV)

As Christians, we can have a closer walk with God when we ask for His wisdom and understanding.  God has a perspective on everything that is unique to only Him.  He sees the whole picture from the creation of the world to the end of times.  He works ALL things together for His good and our good.  We show that we have this wisdom from God when we live a good life and do good deeds in humility.

Many people choose worldly wisdom rather than godly wisdom.  This wisdom is selfish and self-satisfying.  These people harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in their hearts, and this wisdom is earthly and unspiritual because it comes from the devil.  This wisdom leads to disorder and every evil practice.

In order for us to walk closely to God and to understand His will for our lives, we must meditate on His Word often.  We must trust Him completely and ask Him for His power, strength, and understanding as we face our daily challenges.  We must keep our eyes focused on God’s will and stand up and confront Satan with his deceitful lies.  We must desire God’s transformation of our spirits into the likeness of Jesus Christ, and we must seek to bring honor and glory to our heavenly Father in everything we say and do.

APPLICATIONS

  1. Do you pray that God will give you wisdom?  Why is it important for us to pray for wisdom?
  2. Why do so many people fall into the trap of believing Satan’s wisdom?
  3. What are some of the things you need to do to be sure you are choosing God’s wisdom over Satan’s?
  4. Think about your relationship with another person with whom you are very close and intimate.  What are some characteristics of that relationship that make it so intimate?
  5. Do the characteristics mentioned above characterize your relationship with God? Are there additional characteristics that you could have to make your relationship to God even closer?

If you have questions about how to follow Jesus or deepen your relationship with Him, email us at NLBIministry@gmail.com.

Humbled in Your Presence

“Blessed are those who
have learned to acclaim you,
who walk in the light of your
presence, O LORD.  They
rejoice in your name all
day long; they exult in
your righteousness.”

(Psalm 89:15-16 NIV)

Humbled in Your Presence

My heart is humbled at dawn
as the sun begins to rise.
Beautiful oranges and yellows
merge as they brighten my eyes.

A sparkling fog appears
and hovers over land and sea,
obscuring natural wonders
and enshrouding all the trees.

The air is cool and misty
as the brand new day awakes,
until the sun shines brighter
and through the moisture breaks.

Then my eyes see clearly
and the sun warms my face.
I see Your handiwork, God,
and feel Your warm embrace.

I pause and give You thanks
and worship You for a while.
The feeling of Your presence
turns my lips into a smile.

My heart is humbled at dawn
as I begin a brand new day.
I know that You are with me, God,
and will guide me on my way.

by Beth Fore

*God is the CREATOR of all things! Just looking at our natural world, from the tiniest flower or insect to the most magnificent redwood tree or an elephant, shows the power and might of Almighty God; and we are humbled in His presence.

“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.”  (Psalms 19:1 NIV)

As Christians, we awaken in the morning to a beautiful sunrise illuminating the sky with bold oranges and yellows.  We stand in awe of our divine Creator as we look up into the heavens and watch an ever-changing kaleidoscope of colors in the sunrise and sunset.  We also stand in awe of the stormy skies as the wind tosses the clouds around and the lightning dances with bold flashes across a dark, ominous sky!

All of nature gives us pause to be still and admire and revere the Creator of such incomparable, unimaginable beauty and power.  We know that our Creator is so much greater than any of us, and it causes us to be humble and reverent in His presence. 

Every day is unique, unlike any other.  God demonstrates His power and might, His creativity, His love of color and beautiful lines, His appreciation and regard for the sounds and music we hear in the thunder, the roar of the ocean waves, and the melodious chirps of birds and insects.  He appeals to all of our senses in nature, and He provides us a beautiful earthly home to inhabit while our bodies are alive.

We should rejoice in the beauty and majesty of each new day, and we should give thanks and prayers and songs of joy and praise to our God for these wonderful blessings He gives us to enjoy each day!  We should slow down a bit and take the time to notice all of the little blessings He gives us, such as a spider spinning a web, an ant carrying a stick many times its size, a beautiful flower beginning to bloom, and the sound of a newborn bird chirping for the first time!  Let us all rejoice and give thanks for the wondrous blessings God gives us each day, and let us humble ourselves before Him as we enjoy His presence in our lives every day!

APPLICATIONS

  1. What are some of the wonders created by God that you most appreciate?
  2. Have you learned to acclaim and acknowledge God for who He is?  If so, what are some of the ways you acclaim Him?
  3. What does it mean to you to know that you are always in the presence of God?  Does it affect what you say and do?
  4. One meaning of humility is to understand that God is much greater than you or any other human being, and He desires to be given honor and glory and praise because of who He is — the great I AM.  Do you humble yourself before God and give Him the honor and praise He desires from you?

If you have questions about how to follow Jesus or deepen your relationship with Him, email us at NLBIministry@gmail.com.

#Jesus #Christian #Christianwomen #followJesus #humility

Create in Me

by Beth Fore

“Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit
within me.  Do not cast me
from your presence or take
your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy
of your salvation
and grant me a willing
spirit, to sustain me.”

(Psalm 51:10 NIV)

Create in Me

Create in me a pure heart
filled with love, joy, and peace.
Calm these inner struggles,
and give my soul release.

Renew my love and passion
for my Savior and my King.
Fill me with psalms and songs,
an offering to You I bring.

Cleanse me every day, Lord,
and make me pure and holy.
Comfort me with Your Spirit
as He lives inside of me.

Transform me with Your love,
Your mercy, and Your grace.
Strengthen me when I am weary
so that I can finish the race.

Welcome me with open arms
when my life on earth is done.
Let the angels sing “Hallelujah”
when the battle on earth is won.

by Beth Fore

*When a person becomes a Christian and is baptized, the old person no longer exists; and a new person (a new creation) has come to live a new life for Christ.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:  The old has gone, the new is here!”  (2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV)

New Christians are usually very excited and delighted to be forgiven of their sins and to have the opportunity to begin anew in Jesus Christ.  They are so thankful and grateful to God for his love, his kindness, his forgiveness, and the new life He promises them.  But, too often, as time moves forward, these Christians become more influenced by their worldly culture and daily lives. But too often, as time moves forward, these Christians become more influenced by their worldly culture and daily lives.  Then they are not as thankful and passionate as they once were.

It is then that we, like David, may pray the same prayer to our God,  “Create within me a pure heart, oh God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”  (Ps 51:10 NIV)

God is the great Creator, and He can create us at our physical birth the first time and re-create us again when we are baptized and born again.  He can also re-create us many times when we need to be re-ignited with the fire of the Holy Spirit and become passionate and energized for the work God has for us to do in His kingdom. 

It would do us good to pray these words every day. We desire to be strong and steadfast in the Lord daily, and we want to be in his presence under the guidance of his Holy Spirit so that we will be in an intimate, submissive relationship with Him always.  We also want to be joyful and thankful for our salvation and the hope that we have to spend eternity with Him in heaven.  So, let’s ask for these blessings every morning, and we will remain steadfast and firm in our faith and in our relationship with Jehovah God and Jesus Christ.

Applications

  1. Think back to the time when you were baptized and first became a Christian.  How did you feel about God and Jesus?  How involved and active and passionate were you in sharing your faith with other people?
  2. Did you lose some of your passion and zeal after you had been a Christian for a while?  If so, why do you think this happened?
  3. Why do you think David specifically asked God to create in him a pure heart?  Why do you think he asked God for a steadfast spirit?
  4. Now, why should you ask God to create a pure heart and a steadfast spirit within you?
  5. How can we keep the fire burning brightly within us and remain zealous and passionate for our Lord and Savior?

If you want to learn more about what it means to be a Christian or to become a Christian, click this link: https://woww.newlifebehavior.org/what-it-means-to-follow-jesus-how-to-become-a-christian/ 

A New Name

By Beth Fore

“He who has an ear, let
him hear what the Spirit
says to the churches.
To him who overcomes,
I will give some of the
hidden manna.  I will
also give him a white
stone with a new name
written on it, known only
to him who receives it.”

(Revelation 2:17 NIV)

A New Name

Jesus, precious Son of God,
who speaks to those who will hear
and to those of us who overcome,
You will make your message clear.

You will give us hidden manna
so that our spirits can feed,
and You will cover and protect us
and meet our every need.

You will give us a new name
that is written on a white stone.
We will be sanctified and holy
for Your blood our sins does atone.

You will make us a pillar
in the temple of the new Jerusalem.
You will write on us Your name
that shows we belong to Him.

Thank You, precious Jesus,
for giving us a new name to wear.
Help us be courageous and bold
as Your mighty name we declare!

Beth Fore

*In Revelation, John tells one of the churches that the Christians who overcome the challenges of this life will be given hidden manna and a white stone with their new name written on it, that only they will know.

“I will also give him a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to him who receives it.”  (Revelation 2:17 NIV)

My mother was a faithful Christian woman all of her life. About three weeks before her death, she was placed in a hospice facility for people who were dying.  She received wonderful care there, and one of my family members went to be with her most of the time she was there.

One day, I went to be with Mother and the nurses said that she had been upset and angry and they weren’t sure why.  I asked her what was wrong, and she looked at me and said, “They won’t call me by my name.”  I didn’t understand this so I asked her if they had called her Eloise, or Mrs. Thompson, and several other names.  She said, “No, no, they won’t call me by my name.”  Then, I was really confused.  Mom closed her eyes and went to sleep, and that was the end of that conversation.

I talked to my sister later that day and told her what had happened.  Coincidentally, most likely providentially, she had been reading a book written by Max Lucado, entitled, He Knows My Name.  Judy read these verses to me from Revelation.  This was the first time I was aware of these verses.

I think it was quite likely that my mom had already been given her new name, and that was the name she was expecting me and the nurses to call her.  Perhaps she was unfamiliar with the part of the verse that said the new name would be known only to him who receives it!

APPLICATIONS

  1. Most biblical names had important meanings.  Think of the many different name given to God and to Jesus.  Write some of these down, and look up their meanings.
  2. What do you think John means when he says the overcomer will be given hidden manna and a stone with a new name?
  3. If you could choose your new name, what would it be and what would it mean?
  4. The truths of God’s scriptures are often revealed to us in unusual situations such as the one I shared with you.  Can you think of a time in your life when something like this happened to you?  If so, share it with others.
  5. It seems to me that when a person is given some time to think and reflect before dying, they show signs of talking and laughing or crying with departed loved ones.  Some people also seem to see angels, or Jesus, coming for them and they are excited and full of joy.  If you have experienced anything like this with a loved on, please share it with us.

A Beautiful Journey

by Beth Fore

“He who was seated on the
throne said, ‘I am making
everything new!’  Then he
said, ‘Write this down, for
these words are trustworthy
and true.’  He said to me:
‘It is done.  I am the Alpha
and the Omega, the Beginning
and the End.  To him who is thirsty
I will give to drink without cost
from the spring of the water
of life.  He who overcomes
will inherit all this, and I will
be his God and he will be
my son.’”

(Revelation 21:5-7 NIV)

A Beautiful Journey

My loved one is going on a beautiful journey
to a place that surpasses all places.
There she will meet Jesus, our Savior,
and be reunited with familiar faces.

My loved one is going to sing with the angels
as the heavenly chorus sings songs of praise.
She’ll be the one with a smile on her face;
and with a joyful heart, her hands she will raise.

My loved one is going to live in Paradise
where she will experience no more pain.
There will be no more physical suffering,
no earthly heartache or tears will remain.

My loved one is going to live with Jesus,
and in His loving arms she will safely rest.
She will continue to serve Him faithfully
and offer herself at her very best.

My loved one is going to her heavenly home,
the place where her spirit longs to be.
She will be clothed in garments of white
and live with Jesus as He reigns in majesty.

My loved one is going on a beautiful journey,
on the wings of eagles she will soar;
and she will dwell in the house of the Lord
and live in His presence forevermore.

Beth Fore

*The reward for living the Christian life is to know, with blessed assurance, that God is in heaven and Jesus is reigning on His throne and Christians will be raised from their graves and this world; and they will be carried to a place that is beautiful and new and has been made ready for them.  Since this is true, Christians should welcome death in this body because it hastens the moment when we will leave this world and this body and go home to heaven to live with Jesus forevermore.

“To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life.  He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be my son.” (Revelation 21:7 NIV)

There is a song we sometimes sing that says, “This world is not my home.  I’m just passing through.  My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue.”  As Christians, we are living on this earth, but it is not our permanent home. 

As long as we are here, we will have joy and pain, good health and suffering, prosperity and poverty.  These things are all part of this world.  But God assures us that He will take us to heaven to live with Him forever if we are faithful and obedient to Him.  We have HOPE!  We have a goal to aim toward when things are bleak and dreary.

We are all on a journey, and we will all face obstacles along the way.  Christians know that God goes before us, beside us, and behind us to protect us and be ever present in our lives.  When we face the battles head on, knowing that Jesus has already won the victory, we will have the courage and strength we need to get through the hard times!  We also have one another, other Christians, so that we can encourage one another, carry someone else’s load when he can’t, and know that there are people who love and care for us through this life!  When we come to the end of this journey, or walk beside someone else as they end their journey, we need not be afraid!  We know that Jesus and his angels will take our spirit from this broken body and carry us to heaven above!  Now, that is something we can all get excited about!

APPLICATIONS

  1. Meditate on this passage for a while.  What does it mean to you to know that Jesus will quench your thirst if you allow Him the privilege? He tells us He will give us water from the spring of the water of life freely, if we accept it.  What does this mean to you?
  2. Write down some of the things people have done for you along your journey that have encouraged you and strengthened you and helped you get up when you fall down and keep going.  Commit to doing these same things for other people.
  3. We know that we can’t live a life free of problems, disappointments, heartaches, and suffering.  So, why do we try to intervene in our children’s lives to keep them from experiencing these things necessary to maturity in Christ?
  4. Are you fearful of death?  If so, why?  Should a Christian fear death?
  5. A Christian has hope in a better place to live after death.  This also gives us hope in this life to face trials and tribulations.  Many people do not have this hope.  How should this motivate us to share this hope with other people?

If you want to learn more about what it means to be a Christian or to become a Christian, click this link: https://woww.newlifebehavior.org/what-it-means-to-follow-jesus-how-to-become-a-christian/ 

Waiting

By Beth Fore

“Be patient, then, brothers and
sisters, until the Lord’s coming.
See how the farmer waits for
the land to yield its valuable crop
and how patient he is for the autumn and
spring rains.  You, too, be patient
and stand firm, because the
Lord’s coming is near.”

(James 5:7-8 NIV)

Waiting . . .

Sometimes the waiting we do in life
is the most difficult thing to do.
We are never certain what the future holds,
and it is hard to know what to pursue.

This precious time that we spend waiting
teaches us to trust in You, Father,
and to spend time communing with You,
as through prayers with You we confer.

Often it is the time we spend waiting
that transforms our inner being.
We have time to reflect and introspect
as You open our eyes to “seeing.”

I have been waiting a long time now
to know what my future has in store;
but the longer I wait, the more I learn
to believe and trust in You more.

Teach me to be quiet and patient, Father,
and to give all of my heart to You.
Help me embody the fruits of Your spirit
and to Your will forever be true.

Beth Fore

*Waiting is not something human beings like to do or know how to do well.  It is something we must experience and seek God’s help in doing if we are to learn all of the lessons He wants us to learn from waiting.

“You, too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near.”  (James 5:8 NIV)

As human beings, we are very aware of time.  We plan our schedules, allocating so much reasonable time, to accomplish each task.  We are not happy (and we often display our impatience) when something interrupts our schedule and takes much longer than we anticipated.  At its very core, this is an example of our need and desire to control our lives with little consideration for God’s will and intended use of our time.

Learning to wait patiently on the Lord may be one of the most difficult, and beneficial, disciplines we learn in this life.  It encourages us to give up our time and resources, our needs and goals, and our control and will, and give it to God!  We become dependent on God, rather than independent on ourselves.  We have time to think, to listen, to meditate, to “be,” and to grow up and mature in Jesus Christ.  We have time to spend in prayer, in Bible study, in worship, in helping other people, in sharing Christ with the lost, and in many other spiritual matters.

When we spend days, months, and even years, praying for the Holy Spirit to transform us and other people into the likeness of Christ, we demonstrate our faith and trust in God.  When we are patient at the stores, in line at the bank, at the doctor’s office, on the phone with a business person, we are shining the light of Jesus into those around us.  Most people will be impatient in these situations, so patience is noticed and appreciated.  We have a choice to choose to be the impatient person in line, or the patient person.  Let’s make the better choice and be the patient one!

APPLICATIONS

  1. On a scale of 1 to 10, how do you rate yourself in demonstrating the fruit of the Spirit, patience?  Are you satisfied with your rating?  Why, or why not?
  2. Think of several situations where you are especially impatient.  Write down some specific things you can do to try to improve in these situations.
  3. Think of some circumstances where people are gathered together and someone demonstrates impatience to others.  What can you say, or do, to make peace?
  4. Think of some thing, or some one, whom you have prayed for a long time and God answered your prayer favorably.  How did this affect your prayer life, your faith, your trust in God?
  5. Look at patience as a discipline to be learned that will make you more mature spiritually.  How can this approach make it easier for you to become a patient person?

If you want to learn more about what it means to be a Christian or to become a Christian, click this link: https://woww.newlifebehavior.org/what-it-means-to-follow-jesus-how-to-become-a-christian/